Neymar suspended for 3 matches after clash with fan

Paris St Germain’s Neymar during a match in Paris. (Reuters)
Updated 11 May 2019

Neymar suspended for 3 matches after clash with fan

  • After Rennes beat PSG 6-5 on penalties following a 2-2 draw in the final at the Stade de France, Neymar reacted angrily to a fan who was filming and verbally goading players

PARIS: Neymar won’t play again at the Parc des Princes this season.
The Paris Saint-Germain striker was given a three-game ban on Friday for lashing out at a fan following a loss in the French Cup final last month, a punishment that capped another disappointing season for the Brazilian.
The French soccer federation’s disciplinary commission added a suspended two-match ban to its punishment.
PSG said in a statement it finds the sanction “severe” and has decided with Neymar to appeal the decision.
After Rennes beat PSG 6-5 on penalties following a 2-2 draw in the final at the Stade de France, Neymar reacted angrily to a fan who was filming and verbally goading players as they walked up the stairs to collect their runner-up medals. Other PSG players, including Gianluigi Buffon and Marco Verratti, were verbally abused by the same person and ignored him.
PSG coach Thomas Tuchel criticized Neymar for the spat and the Brazilian player later apologized.
The ban starts Monday, ruling Neymar out of PSG’s last two league games. He can, however, play with the French champions at Angers on Saturday.
The Brazil forward will also miss the Champions Trophy between the French champions and the French Cup winners on Aug. 3.
Neymar has also been suspended for three games by UEFA for insulting the video review officials who awarded Manchester United’s stoppage-time penalty when PSG was eliminated from the Champions League in the last 16.
Neymar became the most expensive player in the world when he moved from Barcelona to PSG for €222 million (about $250 million) in 2017.
But his two seasons with the French champions have been quite disappointing in comparison with the huge expectations.


Mayor of town in north Japan bemoans lack of Olympic funds

Updated 15 September 2019

Mayor of town in north Japan bemoans lack of Olympic funds

  • Tokyo is reportedly spending about $20 billion to prepare the city to host the games
  • Tokyo organizers have faced a series of hurdles as they prepare to host the games

TOKYO: The mayor of a town in northeastern Japan that will host Olympic soccer games says his city has received no funding from the central government that has promised to use the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to help in the reconstruction of the region.

The Japanese government and Tokyo 2020 organizers are hoping to use the Olympics to showcase Japan’s recovery from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Several Olympic events, including soccer and baseball, will be held in northeastern Japan.

But with less than a year to go before the opening ceremony, Yutaka Kumagai, the mayor of Rifu in Miyagi Prefecture, says his city has seen no funding from the central government.

“There is no help from the government, we don’t have any budget from them, none,” Kumagai said on Saturday. “Tokyo 2020 is said to be a symbol of the reconstruction but when it comes to the budget, we don’t have any budget from the Olympic games here in Rifu.”

Kumagai made the comments during a media tour of Miyagi Stadium, a 49,000-seat facility in Rifu that will host men’s and women’s football at the 2020 Olympics.

About 50,000 people are still displaced in the Tohoku region as of August, according to the Reconstruction Agency. Yoshiaki Suda, the mayor of Onagawa in Miyagi Prefecture, concurred with Kumagai. Like Rifu, Onagawa is a coastal city that sustained heavy destruction.

“We haven’t received any subsidy, even one yen, from the central government,” Suda said. “Whatever we do for the venues, for the hospitality for the Olympics, we have to do ourselves.”

Some media reports have made the claim that the Olympics have hampered the reconstruction efforts, taking workers away from the region to help with construction in Tokyo.

Japan is one of the most earthquake- and tsunami-prone areas in the world. On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 quake offshore caused a tsunami that triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The quake and tsunami heavily damaged coastal neighborhoods in northeastern Japan and took more than 18,000 lives.

Tokyo, which projected total costs of about $7.5 billion in its winning bid for the games in 2013, is reportedly spending about $20 billion to prepare the city to host the games.

A group of anti-Olympic activists, many from outside Japan, have held small protests and other events this summer under the Japanese title “Han-gorin no Kai” — which translates roughly to No Olympics. They oppose Olympic spending, which they say cuts into budgets for housing and environmental issues.

They also call for more money to rebuild Fukushima prefecture located northeast of Tokyo. Organizers say Fukushima is a main focus of the Olympics, staging baseball, softball and soccer games there to persuade the world the area is safe.

Tokyo organizers have faced a series of hurdles as they prepare to host the games. In August, Tokyo’s summer heat forced an Olympic women’s triathlon qualifying event to be shortened because of high temperatures that are likely to impact next year’s games.

Tsunekazu Takeda, the head of the Japanese Olympic Committee, was forced to quit earlier this year when he was implicated in a vote-buying scheme to land the games. He has denied wrongdoing, but acknowledged he signed off on about $2 million that French investigators allege went to buy votes.